It is wonderful to be seen by those you see. It is even more wonderful and filling to see yourself and realize your ability to attract that. This shoot with Caydie McCumber embodied that. I could not have asked for a better team or shooting partner in Model Amber.
Sometimes, society stifles your ability to see yourself because it highlights everything but that. The first step is embracing everything that makes you feel as though you do not belong. Instead of ignorning what you are and focusing on what you are not get comfortable with everything you can be with what you have been given.
In a world full of curation, the greatest and most filling feat is simply being in order to let your light shine through. Finding people who remind you of the you you wish to be is an important step forward on this journey. Do not take it for granted when you are faced with yourself. Embrace it and grow. Take it and allow yourself to be, nothing less than you as you are meant.
This series is particularly close to my heart as it show cases the movement my sisters and I created in 2013. Inspired by a friend who has become more like a sister to me and her family's powerful story of Breast Cancer survival and how it connected with my own struggle as I was figuring out how to live my new life the best way possible without feeling life I was missing out on how I thought life was supposed to go.
Thrive is about living life to the fullest, not just existing or surviving but fully embracing our lives and THRIVING by leading healthy conscious lives filled with fulfillment and happiness before its too late, or before someone says we can't anymore.
This series was shot by Emmanuel Brown and styled by Tiffany Marie as a compliment to a piece I wrote for the sustainable brand Melanin ASS.
You can view the piece here:
As I break into this new chapter of my life I've had the pleasure of connecting with amazing up and coming souls who see what I see in them, Greatness. Brandon Lewis of Lewis and Marshall Photography is on the cusp of something great and I feel blessed to be witnessing his emergence.
This collaboration was DOPE! I love, this, brand and what they stand for. Art Comes First is unapologetically human, colored, and creative. When I say creative I don't mean they make cool prints you wish you came up with, I mean they are deeply artistic and thought provoking. When AFC reached out I was even more elated at the thought of capturing the pieces with Chris because I KNEW...it would be pure fire. Check us out.
#MagicwithMichael continues! It seems the greatest truly do do it all. I feel more than blessed to have such talent on my team. This shoot came about when I was advised to get in contact with the Ethika brand and their #gotethika campaign. The brand's slogan, "quality underwear driven by personal identity" along with its desire to align itself with individuals living healthy, porosperous lifestyles made Ethika a brand I could get behind.
Once I decided to try it and see, I also decided to use the opportunity to express myself and not just act as a prop in the campaign. I wanted to do so in a powerful way with a person who had the passion to bring it to life and it morphed into something truly amazing because that is exactly what Michael does every time he puts his name on work. He outdid himself with the visuals and of course we both had an amazing time making it happen.
Wearing the Ethika bra and cheeky bottoms.
Chris Charles, otherwise known as Creative Silence has become what I call my "Creative Soulmate." The raw energy and easy vibez he brings to our sessions make it easy to be myself and our shared Jamaican roots make connecting that much more inspiring to us both. Additionally, his life experiences, genuine nature, and intelligence make him someone who is easy to shut up and listen to. I feel caught up in the art of it all every time we work together, and I think that speaks to his genius.
This series is special to me not only because of all of the amazing images we got out of it and the jobs that would follow, but because it is the first time I felt like I was materializing as a force as it was being created. The video Chris was able to pull from the imagery was equally as artisic and filling for us both and it was clear that this session was the begining of a great partnership between two very driven individuals who happen create dope art together.
Check out zoya, the short film below
Lauren is a fellow UNC grad who I've looked up to for some time. When I finally got a chance to work with her in the fall of 2015 I was really excited and it showed in the pictures we captured during this session. Not only did this test get me a dream job with a major athletic brand later, it gave me a much needed boost and connected me with a new friend for life, but that is often the case when two Tar Heels connect. Lauren is an amazingly genuine soul who I have no doubt is on her way to becoming a house hold name.
Michael is one of the most kind hearted and gifted people I've ever met. I was connected with him for a test in the summer of 2015. Our shoot was the first time I confirmed to myself I could be in a campaign. When I say that I mean I saw the raw unedited pictures he'd taken of me and immediately thought "this should be on a cover now." Everything from the lighting to the positioning to the beads of sweat on my brow in shot after shot was inspiration in itself and I was just so thankful for the opportunity.
Robert was the second professional photographer I worked with. The second time we worked together I got one of my all time favorite shots with nothing but a corner and some great sun light. I will say the wind and my blow out that day were in crazy agreement.